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Devils acquire Zidlicky for Foster, Palmieri, Veilleux and picks

Feb 24, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

Marek Zidlicky, Alex Kovalev AP

The primary complaint among New Jersey Devils fans is that they believe Marek Zidlicky costs too much – which is pretty reasonable since they’re trying to re-sign Zach Parise and have that pesky bankruptcy thing to deal with.

As it turns out, it will also cost the Devils a big package, even if it’s more about quantity than quality.

The New Jersey Devils confirmed that they sent the Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster, young forward Nick Palmieri, winger Stephane Veilleux, a 2012 second-round pick and a conditional 2013 third round pick for Zidlicky. (Stay tuned for the conditions of that third-rounder.)

Devils angle

New Jersey is likely banking on the fact that Zidlicky was once a second or third-tier talent among offensive defensemen. (That’s not meant as an insult, by the way.) The Devils’ defense isn’t what it once was, so the hope is that he could push a hot team to true contender status.

Again, the sticking point for some is that he has one more season on his deal, with a $4 million cap hit in 2012-13. (Naturally, the flip side is that the Devils might be glad he has that extra year if he ends up being a big success.)

Lamoriello keeps upping the ante in Martin Brodeur‘s swan song years, but he’s frequently done his boldest work around trade deadlines anyway.

(OK, his boldest work usually involved compulsively firing head coaches, but you know what I mean.)

Update: 22-year-old Nick Palmieri hasn’t been a smash-hit in his career so far, but the 79th pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft makes the deal a little sweeter for the Wild. His ceiling seems limited, but perhaps he’ll flourish in a change of scenery.

Beyond potentially giving the Wild a solid piñata swing or two in the next two drafts, it’s also a deal that is soaking with nostalgia.

source: APAfter a couple cups of coffee with the Atlanta Thrashers, Foster truly started his NHL career with the Wild as he spent parts of four seasons (2005-06 to 08-09) in Minnesota before a catastrophic injury nearly ended his career. (It also rightfully heated up the “Let’s get rid of dopey old touch-up icing” debates).

Foster’s bounced around the NHL since then, with stops in Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Edmonton and New Jersey. His value is iffy because of defensive flaws, but he has great size and a formidable slap shot. It’s hard to be too tough on him because his mere presence in the NHL is pretty inspiring in itself.

Veilleux also enjoyed some of his best days with Minnesota. The 30-year-old forward played parts of six seasons with the Wild before bouncing back and forth from the Lightning/Devils and the minors.

Perhaps Foster might find his footing again in the place he enjoyed his greatest successes, but I’d guess the best takeaways are the picks and merely getting something for a long-time defenseman who went sour with Mike Yeo in power.


I’d say Wild GM Chuck Fletcher did pretty well while Lamoriello rolled the dice in an interesting way, but what do you think? Fire away, hockey fans – particularly those of the Wild and Devils.

  1. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    couldn’t be happier. Better defensemen and draft picks. All hail lord Fletcher

  2. martysbetter - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Eh, Palmieri and the 2nd are the only real things of value given up.

    With Zidlicky, Foster is redundant, Nick Palmieri had no real place here, Veilleux either.

    Conditions of the third pick are rumored to be “Devils make conference finals and Zidlicky plays 75% of games.”

    So we’re going to be banking on a Zidlicky resurrection. He gets out of Minn and is reunited with longtime friends Elias and Sykora.

    Losing the 2nd hurts but you gotta give some kind of value, right?

    I think we’ll have to see how Zidlicky does for the Devils before you can really judge this one.

    • James O'Brien - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      It’s a lot of stuff, but the question is if that stuff is all that valuable. Might hurt if the Devils lose Parise and flop in 2012-13. They don’t flop very often, though, do they?

      • martysbetter - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM

        True, that 2nd rounder is actually Washington’s from the Arnott trade – so the Wild might make something out of that if the Caps continue their free fall.

        Considering all the question marks in New Jersey next year, I think they have to try and go for it now.

  3. bethgoesglobal - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Wild fans can’t complain much with this trade between the picks and Palmieri who I’ve heard good things about. Besides that it also frees up some more money that the Wild can on someone else over the summer- maybe someone who can score.
    If Alex Semin decides to stay in the US I think he could look very good in Wild green…

  4. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I’m really shocked that the Devils gave up draft picks considering Zidlicky’s been a healthy scratch & a shell of his former self. The players were just bodies that I thought were good enough especially when you consider the extra year @ 4M for Zidlicky. Seems kind’ve desperate

  5. bethgoesglobal - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    My question is: why is Hackett in tonight? Does this mean Harding is being shopped, Hackett? Backstrom had 2 wins in a row so this placement seems a bit off to me.

    • bethgoesglobal - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      My bad- answered my own question- turned to game late so didn’t see that Backy had gotten the start.

  6. rgledz - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    We can have a nice reunion when Parise joins the Wild next year. It will be emotional!

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

      And Suter

  7. kegmen7 - Feb 25, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Great trade for devils IF zidlicky is who they think he is (a little dennis green for ya)…Devs D has been playing well, but lacked a true no. 1-2 defeseman. With Zidlicky, everyone slides back into a role in which they can excell, rather than just fill. When Tallinder comes back, this is how I see the pairs: Zidlicky-Volchenkov; Larsson-Tallinder, Salvador-Greene’ Fayne/Taromina/Harrold as teams “black aces.” Thats three really strong pairs with good depth, allowing DeBoer to match up with any type of line…Palmieri can be a really good bottom 6 forward, Foster is a 5-6 defenseman prone to defensive lapses, Vellieux an older Palmieri, and none of those guys were really playing major roles…The pick hurts, but you have to give up something- a second round pick and role players the Devs didnt need for an at worst top 4 defenseman at best top 2 defenseman is pretty good value….once Zajac gets back watch out for the Devils.

  8. cmv08 - Feb 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    The Devils are insane. They won’t win a cup anytime soon and just sold their future away.

  9. ricky9984 - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Zidlicky as a true1-2 defenseman???!!!!thats hysterical! He’s a bum! O goals this year, and he’s an undersized offensive defenseman. On top of that he’s grossly overpaid! Good riddance and thanks NJ for freeing up more cap for the wild to bring your boy parise home to mn and make a run at suter! I can’t wait for next season already!

  10. getadealdonealready - Feb 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    The best thing about this trade is getting Zid’s 4 mil off of the cap for next year, and give MN room to sign a big name free agent or two to play along side a young crop of talented but unproven NHL talent next year.

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